Ruyton Defeats Elite Teams to Retain its 45th Consecutive State Cross Country Championship in 15 Years
The Ruyton Cross Country team has been undefeated in all State Cross Country competitions since May 2003. The prospect of claiming its 45th Team Championship in an unblemished 15 year run of victories looked to be under threat at the 2018 State Cross Country Relays at Jells Park on Saturday.
Wesley College won the Under 14, Under 16, and Under 18 races in the most dominant display of elite school running for over a decade. In the Under 20 race, Wesley held an insurmountable lead after the first leg, and Ruyton’s reign looked to be over. It even appeared possible that Haileybury College would out muscle Ruyton into second place in the Overall Championship.
Throughout the week, we acknowledged Ruyton would not dominate any race, but that we could win in the aggregate. While our A teams were contenders, the B and C teams would carry the hopes of retaining the Championship. For the Overall State Championship, a school could accumulate points by finishing in the Top Nine placegetters in each of the four age groups. It is rare for a school to achieve a Top Nine finish with its B or C teams, and while Ruyton is still working toward becoming elite runners, its strength is its depth.
Ruyton needed the B and C teams in the Under 14 age group to claim a Top Nine position. They finished fourth and eighth respectively with the A team finishing second. The Under 16 B team finished seventh while the A team finished fifth. Our Under 18 A team finished second, and, in the Under 20 age group, the A team finished fourth, and the B team finished eighth.
Wesley’s catalogue of national level athletes was not enough to displace Ruyton’s unshakeable belief and burgeoning team momentum. The Championship was again Ruyton’s after both its A and B Under 20 teams overran the storied Wesley outfit.
Ruyton claimed one of its most complete team victories and solidified its belief that a team comprising good, consistent athletes with a thirst to develop into great athletes, and an insatiable appetite to compete for the School, can overcome tremendous odds to outlast and out-team even the toughest competitors.
Some wins can make a school team, and generate an unbreakable team brand, and this was one of them. Congratulations to the 77 Ruyton girls who all made a significant contribution to Ruyton retaining its 45th consecutive Overall State Cross Country Championship in the last 15 years.
Mr Stephen Ellinghaus
Director of Athletics